Travel in India doesn’t necessarily have to mean “trains, planes and automobiles”. In the east of the country, the great rivers of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Hooghly – for thousands of the years the principal transport arteries of the subcontinent – provide perfect routes for leisurely cruises through some of the most remote and rarely visited parts of the country.
Operated by the pioneering Assam–Bangal Navigation Company (ABN), three colonial-style steamers ply these ancient waterways, pausing at the historic sights, wildlife parks and cultural centres that line the riverbanks. The perspective yielded by these journeys is unique. The rural areas traversed have changed little in essence since the days of the East India Company, several of whose ruined trading posts rise from the paddy fields and sandbars as you glide across the silty water.
Quite apart from being elegant craft in themselves, the boats are handsomely furnished and extremely comfortable throughout. The cabins are air-conditioned and en suite. A wood-lined bar and dining room provide comfortable spaces in which to relax under cover, while a large canopied deck is perfect for watching life drift past on and alongside the water – all in all, a wonderfully relaxing way to experience parts of world rarely visited by outsiders.
ABN offer a wide choice of cruises, offering different mixes of landscapes and experiences. Speak to one of our India-specialist consultants to find out more.